Thursday, March 27, 2008

....And So Do Lidl....

Looks like Lidl really is in competition with Wal-Mart/Asda, in more ways than one:

The German discount supermarket chain Lidl has been accused of spying on its employees, including recording how many times they went to the toilet as well as details about their love lives, personal finances and menstrual cycles.

An investigation by the German news magazine Stern uncovered an extensive espionage system in its shops across Germany. It obtained hundreds of pages of documents gathered by detectives allegedly employed by the chain to find out about its staff. The surveillance took place via mini-video cameras installed by detectives. The official reason given to store managers was to reduce shoplifting.

Critics have accused Lidl of using "Stasi methods", referring to the secret police of the former communist East German state who kept track of the most banal and intimate details of hundreds of thousands of citizens' lives.

The detectives' records include details of precisely where employees had tattoos as well as information about their friends. "Her circle of friends consists mainly of drug addicts," reads one record. The detectives also had the task of identifying which employees appeared to be "incapable" or "introverted and naive".

Capitalism and right-wing politics will lead us towards a police state where corporations have immunity from prosecution. Let no-one lead you to believe that corporations can be any less totalitarian than states.